Merry Christmas. Just thought I’d get that out of the way, even though I forgot to mention Channukah a few weeks ago and Ramadan back in September. (As a child, I once spent the night at the Ramadan Hotel.) I can’t keep track of all the religions; but don’t worry: the global government in the making, which is taking on the role of God since nature abhors a vacuum as much as I abhor my vacuum cleaner, is keeping track of me–and you, and everyone else on earth if you can believe Julian Assange.
First of all, I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging lately. I’m a lame-ass piece of shit. No–just fishing for insults. Second, apologies for not completing yesterday’s entry about the dream I had; my wife Jina suddenly interrupted me to ask if I had anything I’d like to pray for in the New Year. To humor her, instead of swatting her on the head with the laptop, I gave her a series of platitudes that I hoped would suffice to make her go away so I could finish the entry. That was after asking if she meant things for other people, or for me. She said for me. (As Jesus said, “Always look out for Number One.”) So I gave her a short list of predictable requests–good health, happiness, inner peace, etc., then added that I’d like my loved ones to have those as well.
As she wrote my orders to the deity down on her little card in Korean, I asked if she’d be submitting them to the pastor. She said she would. I stifled the urge to vomit, even when she asked if I’d like to add the wish to find Jesus to the list. I said I’d have to think about that one, then made a mental note not to.
I was proud of her for commandeering the arts and crafts projects for the elementary school students we teach three times a week. She’d spent the day guiding the children in how to make snowmen out of Styrofoam balls that will probably end up bobbing up and down in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch some day. They’ll assemble into the letters “S. O. S.,” in the hopes of summoning some sympathetic extraterrestrial who cares more about the earth than we do. Fat chance. The universe is a big place, and in most spots is about as lifeless as a morgue. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became that way here, not that I’ll live to see it happen. I’ll be checking out before the last chapter is written, although not entirely by conscious choice.
After giving up on completing the blog entry (which I will finish later; it’s only another paragraph or two longer), I succumbed to Jina’s suggestion that I help her make a little wreath out of paper cut from an old magazine–a copy of Rolling Stone I’d saved (a periodical she assures me is produced by demons–not that she’s ever gone out of her way to read it; sort of like me dissing the Bible, which is a tad of a chore to plow through).
We had a nice time doing this–or at least she did–while I played the role of obedient husband who’s lost the remote with the volume control and the mute button to cancel his wife’s incessant voice. As long as she’s not in a bad mood, I’m okay, much as I cringe at her other extreme side, which is a kind of hyperactive, childish enthusiasm that’s cloying and suffocating in the extreme, especially since I know how quickly it can swing with scythe-like speed to boiling rage, my head regularly getting knocked about by the restless pendulum or boxer’s tear-shaped punching bag.
A half hour later she retired to the computer room where the laundry rack lives, thirty-odd pairs of socks hanging on the steel bars, patiently waiting to swallow feet. Meanwhile, I got ready to go to bed. I knew it was Christmas Eve, but unless his plans included a non-violent kidnapping–er, rescue mission–I didn’t think Santa Claus had anything special to give me.
Jina asked me to come and look at some photos she’d saved on a memory stick of kids she used to teach art and English to a few years ago. I complimented her on the creative range of the projects she’d given them to do, along with the children’s adroitness in executing them (yes, they were the future Navy Seals of Korea).
She also had some pictures of me, and of her. Switching to a childhood snapshot of me, she said, “You were so handsome!” I thanked her. Then she clicked on a few more, each time commenting on my flattering appearance.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Thanks for reminding me how ugly I’ve become,” I said.
For good measure, she attacked her own deteriorating looks too when she compared her current self to the one who smiled back at her from the screen. I told her she still looks fine.
The other day I thought of a joke, along the lines of the dozens, snaps, or yo’ mama: “You’re so ugly, when I look at you, I feel as if I were looking into a mirror.”
Jina pointed out that looks aren’t everything, and in the same breath said it must have been all the alcohol I’d drunk over the years, saying it was a shame I hadn’t taken better care of my skin.
I could have reminded her that she’s an idiot for believing things that nominally charismatic figureheads quack at her in public and through her earbuds while she’s sleeping at night, but intelligence isn’t everything.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and comb the long and winding orgy of hissing snakes that grow from my head.
Seriously, have a wonderful Christmas. Spend it with the people you love the most and tell the weather it can go f*%! itself. One reason I can’t get into the Christmas spirit this year is that most of my loved ones are far away. Besides, Christmas is considered a “couple’s” holiday in Korea, much like Valentine’s Day in the U. S. (Jesus is both rolling his eyes and scratching his head). Since Jina and I are such a cute couple, I’m afraid we’re going to have to sit this one out.
Of course, I will be re-entering the mouth of hell again at eleven a.m. (meaning church) even though I was just there two days ago. She wanted to go last night too, but I suggested she wouldn’t want to get too much of a good thing (I would, but since for me going to church isn’t a good thing, I thought it best to be disingenuous out of self-preservation, even though the chest pains continue and I can feel an electrical gurgling in my chest sometimes, along with a frequent ache in my left arm and a pulsing at the back of my neck, which are probably nothing more than harbingers of an upcoming stroke or heart attack. Nothing to lose sleep over.
Although the nightmares do come in handy for that.)